Emma receives a mysterious envelope that is addressed to her former name Susan Webster. How does anyone know her new address and where she is?! The envelope holds a key to Susan's past She was charged with suffocating her son with a pillow? How can this be?! Susan is determined to find the answers about her son and what truly happened that horrible day she was charged of murdering her son. Now, if that doesn't grab you.. I don't know what will! I was having a hard time connecting to the characters and understanding exactly what was going on in the beginning.
Finally, around 50 percent the plot starts to bubble up and grabs your attention. She is supposed to be living under a new identity. So, that was a little odd to me. At times, in the book I literally wanted to hit her over the head and was screaming at her to SEE the red flags!! The ending and surprise to the story was lacking for me big time. I found the story to be a little over the top with it being some what ridiculous. The previous novel I read by Blackhurst had so many twists and turns and I was shocked by the ending.
I was disappointed that I didn't enjoy this one more. I still am a huge fan of Blackhurst and look forward to seeing more from her: Overall 3 stars on this one. Thank you to Netgalley, Atria, and Jenny Blackhurst for the advanced arc. View all 39 comments.
How I Lost You by Jenny Blackhurst
Dec 06, Brenda - Traveling Sister rated it it was ok. Short and quick review for this Sister Read with Marialyce and Berit. The group started with seven of us and only three of us were left standing. This one tested our ability to suspend disbelief throughout the whole story and pushing us over the edge with the ending. It was fun and entertaining and there was some great tension that kept us going to to see how this one played out. It brought out a great discussion and we really enjoyed readi Short and quick review for this Sister Read with Marialyce and Berit.
It brought out a great discussion and we really enjoyed reading this one together. View all 44 comments. Susan Webster has spent the last few years of her life in the Oakdale Psychiatric Institute ever since being charged with killing her three month old son, Dylan. Susan doesn't remember what happened that terrible day when her son died. Over the years though Susan has been led to believe from the doctors that she suffered from depression after Dylan's birth causing her to take actions without any memory of them.
Now that Susan has been released she has changed her name to Emma Cartwright to hide Susan Webster has spent the last few years of her life in the Oakdale Psychiatric Institute ever since being charged with killing her three month old son, Dylan. Now that Susan has been released she has changed her name to Emma Cartwright to hide from her past and what she had done and try to begin her life again. However someone doesn't seem to want her to move on from the past when she finds a picture left at her doorstep of a beautiful little boy and written on the back is the name Dylan leading Susan to believe her son is still alive.
With the help of a friend and reporter Susan plans to find out just what happened that day to her little boy. How I Lost You by Jenny Blackhurst is s psychological thriller that is mostly told from the point of view of Susan, a grieving mother that had been accused of suffocating her baby that is now out of the hospital. Some parts also flash back to other characters to tell another side of the story of just what led up to that day that Susan lost her baby boy and who was behind it.
The story of a child's life at stake is certainly one that I found quite compelling. I found myself quickly turning the pages to find out if I should be rooting for Susan or perhaps hating her if she had killed her child. As the story unfolded I'm still not quite sure if I'm a huge fan of the ending overall but I didn't take off too much of the rating as I was definitely interested in getting to the end. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https: View all 4 comments.
Dec 05, Marialyce rated it it was ok. Sometimes a book can have too much going on and overwhelm the reader with seemingly unrelated material that just does not fit the story line. That is what occurred in this novel. The first third of the book left me scratching my head and wondering what the heck was going on. I would hav Sometimes a book can have too much going on and overwhelm the reader with seemingly unrelated material that just does not fit the story line.
I would have quit there but I needed to see how this author would resolve if indeed she could all these very loose ends. This was one of those books where one would roll their eyes and think that the main character after serving time could really not be that naive. She was such a pawn in everyone's hands and as the author swung those many dangling story pieces and culminated with an ending that also made my eyes roll, I had to think of this being an experience where too much was going on.
Needless, to say, I do not recommend this book to those who enjoy suspense and thrillers. Thanks to Brenda and Berit, who trudged through this book with me. View all 26 comments. Mar 05, Book Addict Shaun rated it it was ok. Unfortunately the best thing about the book is its blurb and that proof cover. I don't really write reviews for books I would rate less than 3 stars, but given my disappointment with this book and the fact that I somehow managed to finish it, I wanted to get my frustration out somewhere.
It's hard for me to fully explain my issues without possibly spoiling the book so read on with that warning. Susan Webster is released from a psychiatric institute with a new identity as Emma Cartwright after she murdered her twelve-week-old son Dylan. Emma receives a letter addressed to Susan Webster, containing a photograph of a toddler named Dylan. Well there's most of the suspense gone and with no memory of the event she must somehow try and put the pieces back together and remember what happened three years ago.
The first thing is that I just couldn't take to the character of Susan. I was pretty detached and emotionless throughout the whole of this novel just due to the fact that she's actually a quite stupid character, put into contrived situation after contrived situation. Rather than move to a major city, she moves to somewhere quiet where new residents stick out like a sore thumb.
How I Lost You
After the letter it becomes clear somebody is watching her, and to the rescue comes a journalist yes, really who rather than use Susan for a story like any other journalist would, he practically moves hundreds of miles from his home to 'protect' her and we then have instant romance with Susan practically throwing herself at him glaringly obvious from the start that he had an agenda. Susan makes rash and impulsive decisions that you wouldn't expect somebody that has been through what she has been through to make.
With most of the characters that we meet appearing shady and untrustworthy, it was like a bad movie where the main character would wake up at the end and realise it was all a dream. The writing style and language used is quite juvenile at times. The tension and suspense in the book is virtually non-existent. I actually found myself as I was reading coming up in my head with different scenarios as to what could have happened to Susan three years ago and imagining my own plot twists. There is of course a suspension of disbelief when it comes to psychological thrillers, but not as the expense of the reader's intelligence.
The actual culmination itself, the 'reveal', didn't really redeem the book either and felt rushed. In the background of the story, we have italicised chapters featuring a bunch of male teenagers becoming adults and carrying out some particularly evil acts along the way, the ringleader in particular was probably one of the more interesting characters and whilst I can see what the author was trying to do, it just didn't work for me. There's also far too many characters that at times I had trouble remembering who was who which meant that these chapters just confused me until later in the book.
Just because I didn't enjoy the book doesn't mean others won't, probably those that haven't read many thrillers and so are shocked and thrilled by their first forays into the genre. I imagine seasoned readers will agree that this is pretty mediocre. Therefore I wouldn't personally recommend this book to a friend but I would say to readers maybe take a chance on it and see what you think.
View all 7 comments. Nov 06, Joodith rated it did not like it. Susan Webster was convicted of killing her twelve week old son, Dylan; after serving only three years in a psychiatric hospital she is out on parole having given herself a new name - Emma Cartwright, which is actually used maybe twice during the whole of this book. For company she has Cassie, also a murderer, who befriended her whilst incarcerated. This unlikely pair now live in Ludlow, a small town in Shropshire. Wouldn't you think that a woman, wanting to live anonymously, would chose a large Susan Webster was convicted of killing her twelve week old son, Dylan; after serving only three years in a psychiatric hospital she is out on parole having given herself a new name - Emma Cartwright, which is actually used maybe twice during the whole of this book.
Wouldn't you think that a woman, wanting to live anonymously, would chose a large city rather than a small town where people notice someone new?
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People are naturally nosey, but Susan now Emma chooses a town with a relatively small population, in which to hide! Four weeks after her release, certain events have Susan beginning to believe that Dylan is, in fact, still alive. She enlists the help of Nick, a journalist who turns up at her door out of the blue. This despite the fact that apparently no-one knows her identity, or where she lives She trusts Nick implicitly - ah, it's those electric blue eyes and the muscled torso hidden underneath that crisp white shirt that does it.
Sometime later, within minutes of meeting a solicitor she is imagining going on a date with him He must be under forty, well built, and his face has been chiselled by a steady hand" Oh - almost forgot - he also has mesmerising eyes. Susan is constantly in tears, or on the verge of tears. Her heart thuds, pounds tightens, splits, and quickens; her blood freezes, her face gets hot - sounds like the menopause to me. This is one of the most ridiculous books I have ever read. I began reading it in the hope of a good psychological thriller, what I got was dreadful dialogue, a plot with more holes than a mature Swiss cheese, and a narrative to match; the authors' attempts at humour fall flat, and the superfluous details about Susan's emotions and imaginings not only add nothing to the story but are truly tiresome.
I found most of the characters unpleasant; Susan is self-pitying and pathetic, I could not have cared less what happened to her or her friends. Every so often we are treated to chapters - written entirely in italics which can be hard on the eyes - concerning the antics of a group of teenagers back in This is all so confusing and confused, and intensely irritating.
The writing if often juvenile, for example: A pair of tits with legs. Tanya was tight in all the right places, but more amazingly, she could write and spell". Well of course she can, and that's what's important. Reading this is like being hit repeatedly with a sledgehammer; it has been tortuous from the beginning. It's a complete mish mash and I wanted to throw it out the window, or on the fire. However I eventually decided to approach it as a "spoof" thriller. Even this was a stretch; I alternated between huffing and puffing in exasperation, and laughing out loud, so much so my husband has worried about my sanity.
Not surprisingly the ending is predictable and weak. It is no surprise to me to learn that the author was "addicted to romance novels" in her teen years; this novel smacks of teenage writing and would probably appeal to a newcomer to the genre of psychological thriller. As for my copy - well, I won't be keeping it. My thanks to Amazon Vine for an advanced copy to read and review. View all 6 comments. This is an absolutely thrilling debut novel. Incredibly exciting, fast-paced, edge of your seat roller coaster of a ride, packed full of twists and turns.
I went through a variety of emotions throughout this experience, including fear, as it is very dark in some places, and I even cried at the end. This This is an absolutely thrilling debut novel. This is a very promising start from the author. Book description it really is as good as it sounds: They told her she killed her son. She served her time. But what if they lied? I was sent to Oakdale Psychiatric Institute for my crime, and four weeks ago I was released early on parole with a new identity, address and a chance to rebuild my tattered life.
I recommend this to anyone who likes crime, mystery, and psychological thrillers.
I would like to thank the publisher, Headline for allowing me a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. View all 13 comments. Dec 01, Lindsay - Traveling Sister added it Shelves: I'm going to set this aside as I don't think it is going to work for me. Nov 19, Paul rated it it was amazing Shelves: How I Lost You — Beautifully Twisted Thriller How I Lost You is the absolutly stunning debut thriller from Jenny Blackhurst which draws you in from the beginning, grabs you by the throat and leaves you in tears at the end.
This has to be one of the most beautiful twisted thrillers I have read in a long time where you are kept on your toes throughout the story and the twists and turns come when you least expect them which makes this such a brilliant example of the thriller genre. How Jenny Blackhurst can evoke the feelings of sympathy for a child killer is unbelievable but it works so well that by half way through you have to remind yourself of what she was convicted of in a court of law but it is about then you really are questioning that conviction.
Jenny Blackhurst has crafted a stunning page turner of a debut novel that evokes all kinds of inner turmoil and the age old question will right win over wrong. Emma Cartwright used to be known as Susan Webster mother of Dylan and wife to Mark until she was convicted of his murder due to post-natal depression, she is now free and living alone in Ludlow Shropshire, her only friend Cass, a murderer, her visitor and friend.
She receives a picture of her dead son that suggests that the child is still alive. The confusion and loneliness could send Susan in to all kinds of downward spirals, especially when her house is broken in to and a cat killed on her bed, or her door showered in red paint. So begins her slow journey with Cass in to finding out what really is the truth. That vendetta is there to keep questioning her own sanity the one thing she knows she is fragile and someone is out to stop her finding the truth.
Throughout the book you think you may just have the answer when there is yet another subtle twist that keeps reminding you not to jump to conclusions. This is a clever and brilliant debut by Jenny Blackhurst, How I Lost You, is a thriller that could easily become a classic of the genre. Read, enjoy and be amazed at this beautifully twisted crime thriller. Jan 05, Malia rated it really liked it Shelves: Lots of twists and unexpected turns, and a story I found quite intriguing.
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Nonetheless, this was fast-paced 3. Nonetheless, this was fast-paced and well-written, and I will definitely keep an eye out for Jenny Blackhurst in the future! Find more reviews and bookish fun at http: View all 3 comments. A debut psychological crime novel They told her she killed her son. I was sent to Oakdale Psychiatric Institute for my crime, and four weeks ago I was released early on parole with a new identity, A debut psychological crime novel They told her she killed her son.
The book starts with a letter from convicted child killer Susan Webster to a parole board seeking understanding and release. Four years ago she was found guilty of the murder of her three month old son Dylan. With the help of Cassie, her friend from Oakdale, and her new acquaintance Nick, a journalist, Susan sets out to discover if her son really is alive. This takes her on a journey to Durham University as she uncovers the buried secrets of her husband's past. I found the number of characters confusing and often had to go back and reread.
Similar names like Joss and Josh also jarred, and a little far fetched at the end. But a reasonable entertaining book. A difficult book to review and score, parts were good, other were a little over the top, other parts I became a little lost. Three stars I think is fair This book kept me guessing till the end. I have been bored by most thrillers lately, I read so many they start to get repetitive, but this one was not that way.
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I was caught of guard by the twists and turns this book takes, in a good way! I really enjoyed it! Nov 10, Liz Barnsley rated it really liked it. Really enjoyed this one — an absolute and complete page turner that had me completely enthralled. Took me ages to see where it was going as well, which is always a huge plus point when it comes to mystery and thriller novels, where surprises are few and far between no matter how good they are.
And this one was good! So we have Emma then. She is in her second life if you like, her first being that of Susan Webster, child murderer. She does not remember what happened but has grown to accept that sh Really enjoyed this one — an absolute and complete page turner that had me completely enthralled. She does not remember what happened but has grown to accept that she did, indeed, smother her child. Then a picture arrives and everything changes… There was a huge mix of things to love about this tale — firstly Susan Or Emma herself who is haunted by a past she cannot quite recall and scared of a future that she cannot see.
Her closest friend is one she met while in the Institute, the dynamic of this duo is one of the particular strengths of the novel — Cassie is an endlessly fascinating character, one who I warmed to, abrasive as she was, and the deep and lasting yet often confrontational relationship they have is particularly well drawn. Then we have the mystery element — is it possible at all that Susan has been lied to and Dylan is still alive?
As she begins to hope, you are completely drawn into events as they unfold — determined to uncover the truth, yet questioning herself at every turn, it is often sad yet absolutely compelling. There are flashback portions of the book that tell a story from a different viewpoint and as the two threads come together you will not be able to stop reading until you find out what happens. Other people are thrown into the mix as Susan develops new relationships and reconsiders old ones…it is at times a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, at times a bit of a thrill ride and always completely addictive and beautifully written.
Definitely highly recommended for fans of psychological thrillers. Nov 19, Elaine rated it it was ok. The concept of this book really intrigued — Susan Webster is released on parole from a psychiatric unit where she has spent the past four years after being found guilty of the murder of her 12 week old son Dylan. She has no memory of the murder and has been diagnosed as suffering from puerperal psychosis. Upon her release she takes on a new identity in a new town but pretty soon it becomes apparent that someone has discovered who she is.
When someone sends her a photograph of a little boy who wo The concept of this book really intrigued — Susan Webster is released on parole from a psychiatric unit where she has spent the past four years after being found guilty of the murder of her 12 week old son Dylan. Unfortunately after a while the book seemed to go off kilter and I did have some problems with it. Would someone released on parole be allowed to be in regular contact with another ex prisoner?
An awful lot of people seemed to be able to track her down, despite her new identity, with no difficulty at all. Some of them were explained, but not all of them. It does take some time for the connections to become apparent but in the end it all merges together in quite a complex plotline. You do need to suspend your disbelief on this one as the story does become quite far fetched, and I have to say it was a bit too far fetched for me. Susan herself is quite a strange character. She seemed very willing to trust people on face value at first sight, whereas I would have expected her to be more cautious because of the situation she was in.
I do have to say that the author did do a good job of keeping the suspense going, I thought I knew who was responsible for what was going on, but I was wrong. To sum up, I feel really disappointed that I was disappointed with this one, as I had high hopes for it. Thanks to the publishers for the review copy. View all 9 comments. Apr 06, Vicki rated it really liked it Shelves: Talk about being sucked into a book from the very first page! Jenny Blackhurst certainly knows how to grab her reader and hang on to them until the very last page. I was hooked to this book, spurred on by the small chapters, sometimes only a couple of pages long but always leaving me needing to read 'just one more'.
Still unable to remember that Wow. Still unable to remember that fateful day, she sets about starting over her life. But then strange things begin to happen and the doubts she's always had about the incident three years ago resurface. Susan is convinced she didn't kill her son. More so, she's sure he's still alive. This is an edge of your seat, gripping read which will refuse to let you go.
I was fascinated by Susan's story, horrified at the possibilities and suspicious of every character-never quite trusting anyone. Jenny Blackhurst twists her story in a number of unexpected ways, I never knew exactly how it was going to go and was extremely surprised by it's eventual direction. I had to know what had happened and read this book in two sittings.
How I Lost You takes on some dark and disturbing subjects. There's obsession, revenge, control and manipulation The book takes an even dark and sinister turn around two thirds through, and wasn't always comfortable to read, but it's a twist I hadn't been expecting and is something I haven't come across before. I did feel the character of Susan was at times a little too naive, considering the things she'd gone through, but that would be my only criticism. For the most part, this book is exactly what a reader of psychological thrillers wants; a twisty plot, fast paced and addictive writing and an explosive ending.
Nov 03, Karen rated it really liked it. The story begins when Susan Webster is released from a psychiatric hospital after serving a three year sentence for killing her 3 month old baby. At the time was she was diagnosed with severe post natal depression; she still has no memory of that tragic event and has spent much of her imprisonment trying to focus on the happy memories of time spent with her son. Upon her release, she changes her name and moves away — she might expect that she would be left alone to pick up the threads of her lif The story begins when Susan Webster is released from a psychiatric hospital after serving a three year sentence for killing her 3 month old baby.
Upon her release, she changes her name and moves away — she might expect that she would be left alone to pick up the threads of her life but it seems that someone has other ideas… Nobody, apart from the authorities and her best friend Cassy a fellow inmate, also now released was supposed to know where Susan was living. How was this possible, Dylan was dead — Susan killed him. Surely somebody had to be playing a sick joke?
However when events escalate and become even more sinister, Susan has to find out the truth. Is her boy still alive and if so, why was she found guilty of his murder? This story had me gripped from the very first page. The premise of the story was original and certainly kept my interest all the way through.
When Susan was first released, she had no—one to turn to, apart from Cassy. Her husband Mark had divorced her whilst she was imprisoned and she had turned away from remaining family and friends.
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When a journalist, Nick, suddenly arrives on her doorstep, after the delivery of the photograph, alarm bells started ringing for me — how did he know where she lived and why was he there — was it just to get a story? Despite her initial suspicions, Susan began to rely on Nick just a little too much, too soon. Running through the story are separate chapters, told in italics and going back in time to , of a group of boys who meet at school and who we follow through to university. There are quite a few characters to get to grips with but once these are clear in your head, the story does race along and although at times, you do have to suspend disbelief slightly at events, it never becomes dull.
The twists are very clever and I was never sure who to trust; it seems that events of the past have far reaching consequences. Jenny Blackhurst has written a very enjoyable debut thriller. It's a real pity when a blurb overshadows the actual book itself; like many readers, I was attracted to the mysterious notion of a woman who has killed her own child whilst in the depths of postnatal psychosis - or has she? Unfortunately, much of the story is riddled with plot holes and one dimensional characters give it a feel of an amateurish attempt at the thriller genre. This book takes some patience: The author makes attempts at personalising Susan to make the reader feel sorry for her, but this comes across slapdash.
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